4 out of 4 stars
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Burn Zones: Playing Life's Bad Hands written by Jorge P. Newberry is an autobiography about the author's up and down adventures throughout life. From a young age Jorge had a competitive and curious nature. He wanted to learn new skills and glean results from his hard work. At seven years old Jorge decided that he wanted to have a paper route. He would get up early in the mornings and deliver papers before school. His next feat was when he decided to buy the town's old ice cream bike and continue the ice cream business in his neighborhood. His skills in buying and selling items gave him interest in owning his own record company. From there he gained an interest in racing bicycles. He would pour all of his effort and energy into a task and wouldn't stop until he reached the results he wanted. He burned out in bicycle racing, but did achieve racing in some top tier, level one, races.
While racing bicycles, he met a woman that got him interested in loans and mortgages. This would lead him to some of his most successful, and detrimental, experiences. He found that he was very strong willed and thought that he could fix any situation. One of his motto's is "There are no problems, only challenges"(111). The more difficult and impossible the challenge the better. He was successful in fixing many rental communities that were dinged up with crime, damages, and drug use. Time and time again he was able to heal those condemned areas. The most pivotal moment was when a large ice storm caused irrefutable damage and led to the most trying times in his life. Relying on the strength of his inner compass, close friends, and his family, Jorge was able to beat the odds and come out a man that defeated his burn zones.
This book was well edited. I found no faults or mistakes as I read. I would rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars.
I give this book a 4 star rating because it kept me interested and excited throughout the entire read. I felt as if I was racing with the author through his experiences. When he was worried I felt worried. When he was excited, I couldn't wait to see how things turned out. When he cried I found myself wiping my eyes too. The author was very good at keeping the story fast paced and meaningful to readers.
I really liked that the author wasn't afraid to talk about the inequity that he saw as he helped rebuild rental communities, specifically with the Black community in relations to the police force. I respected that he considered himself a misfit growing up, which later helped him throughout his life to be able to connect with those that were seen as outsiders. It is always noteworthy when the leading character reaps rewards of their hard work. In this story, Jorge experienced and saw the differences that were made when he helped communities reduce crime rate and increase job opportunities for people of color. Jorge found that when people were given a way to help their situation they would take it and slowly better their lives and those around them. I have little to say about any negatives in this book. Overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone that enjoys autobiographies, trial and error, redemption, and the love of helping others.
This book did contain some strong language, the first instance being on page 42. Explicit language is scattered throughout the book, the most used being the F-word 7 times, from my own count. There were no sex scenes, but there is a mention of nude women at a strip club on pages 137 and 138.
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